What's the aim of the festival?
The aim of the festival is to enjoy live theatre, benefit and perhaps learn from the experiences of other like-minded people and a means of progressing in the All England Theatre Festival, if you wish.
What am I committing to if my group progresses to the All England Theatre Festival?
The Worcestershire Theatre Festival is a first round festival that provides a way to progress to The All England Theatre Festival, culminating in the British Final held later in the year. At the time of entering the Worcestershire Theatre Festival you will be asked if you would like to progress to the All England Theatre Festival if you are the winner or runner up. If you elect to go forward to the All England Theatre Festival it is expected that your group will commit to perform in the subsequent rounds.
Are there any restrictions on the type of performance or the number in the cast?
No, but plays that may cause offence may not be allowed to enter. The performance must last at least 20 minutes and no more than 55 minutes. (Please note that plays that progress to the All England Theatre Festival must have at least two people in the cast).
How long do we have to set up and strike our set?
You have 10 minutes to set and 5 minutes to strike your set. These times are in addition to the running time of your performance. The festival stage manager will ensure that all members of your group are ready to set, perform and strike. (Please note that there are penalties awarded for not keeping within times or performance, setting and striking – see ‘How are points awarded and removed?’).
How do we sort out our technical requirements?
You need to complete the technical questionnaire and ensure that it is returned to the festival stage manager
at least two weeks prior to the festival. Please bear in mind that to accommodate all the performances, the stage and particularly the lighting has to be set up prior to the festival starting. Consequently some compromises may be necessary. You are welcome to discuss any technical queries with the festival stage
manager prior to completing the questionnaire.
Can we arrange our lighting and sound before the day?
Lighting and sound together with all other technical requirements must be arranged by completing the technical questionnaire and returning it to the festival stage manager at least two weeks prior to the festival.
Can we use pyrotechnics, smoke machines and similar effects?
As the use of these may be restricted, be sure to check with the festival stage manager if you are contemplating any of these sorts of effects or indeed anything that may be considered a bit out of the ordinary. All technical details and requirements must be included on the technical questionnaire. Please note that smoking is NOT allowed and that a risk assessment may be required.
Do we operate the lights, sound and curtains ourselves?
This is up to you. If you are familiar with the equipment and want to operate your own lights, sound etc, that’s fine. Alternatively, and often the best policy with an unfamiliar venue, is for the theatre technicians to operate but obviously they will need accurate cueing as they will not be familiar with your production. Cuing can be done either by standing by the operator or via headsets from the stage or anywhere else.
Will there be anybody to help us back stage?
The festival back stage team will do their best to ensure that your production runs smoothly. They will ensure that your group is ready to set up and perform etc. The running of the actual performance is, of course, your responsibility.
Do we get our own dressing room?
Suitable dressing room/s will be allocated to each group, although you may not be able to occupy your dressing room until the start of a session.
How much rehearsal time do we have?
You have approximately 30 minutes during the morning of your performance to do pretty much what you want on stage – check your lights, sound levels etc and try some lines. Again, the festival back stage team will try to ensure that everything runs smoothly for your performance. You will not have time to go through your whole performance.
Do we need insurance?
Yes. Your group will need Public Liability Insurance to the value of £5,000,000 while you are on the premises during the weekend. You will need to provide proof of your insurance at your Technical Rehearsal.
Who will be in the audience?
The audience comprises members and supporters from other groups together with members of the public who have been attracted by the festival publicity. You are encouraged to bring your own supporters and watch, as far as possible, the other plays in your session and the other sessions during the weekend.
And, of course, the adjudicator!
Do the cast get complimentary tickets and can I buy other tickets?
Yes, a complimentary ticket is available for each member of the cast, which can also be used by that same cast member to view the other plays in the same session. Tickets are available for sale from the venue prior to the event and on the day.
What does the adjudicator do?
The adjudicator speaks about each production as soon as it's finished, giving a constructive criticism of the various aspects of the performance, e.g. acting, directing, set, costumes etc.
How are points awarded and removed?
Points out of 100 are awarded by the Adjudicator in the following areas:
ACTING: 40 points
PRODUCTION: 35 points
STAGE PRESENTATION: 15 points
DRAMATIC ACHIEVEMENT: 10 points
And they can be removed too, for not sticking
within the times for setting up or striking the set:
UP TO 1 MINUTE: 1 points
UP TO 2 MINUTES: 3 points
UP TO 3 MINUTES: 6 points
UP TO 4 MINUTES: 10 points
UP TO 5 MINUTES: 15 points
OVER 5 MINUTES: Disqualifcation
The results are announced at the end of the final
session on Sunday evening.
Will the adjudicator mention an individual/
Often the adjudicator will mention all the actors in a performance individually, sometimes to praise, sometimes to suggest different ways that a performance may be portrayed etc. but never in a negative or derogatory way.
When are the trophies presented?
The winners of the various trophies are announced and presented at the end of the Sunday night session. It is obviously desirable that recipients of the trophies are in the audience to go on stage to receive their trophy. Trophies are held by the winners for one year.
When and where are the following rounds?
QUARTER FINAL: April 6 - Norbury Theatre, Droitwich
SEMI FINAL: May 4 - Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-upon-Trent
ENGLISH FINAL: June 8 - Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead
BRITISH FINAL: July 5 - 6 - Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate